A biopsy is a procedure in which tissue is removed from the body for analysis in a laboratory. Though mammograms consistently reveal breast abnormalities, physicians oftentimes cannot determine whether a growth is malignant (cancerous) or benign. A biopsy is used to make this determination
Stereotactic biopsies are often preferred by patients to open surgical biopsies because they are less invasive. Rather than surgically removing the entire growth, stereotactic biopsies remove a small portion of the growth with the use of a hollow core needle. This tissue can then be analyzed to determine if further intervention is needed.
Patients may be candidates for stereotactic biopsy if:
Mammogram reveals non-palpable abnormality
Microcalcification(s) (clustered, new or increasing in number) exist
Lesion shows up on a mammogram but not on a ultrasound
Viable candidates will undergo a medical review and screening with a nurse to verify that they can maintain a certain position on the procedural table, that they do not exceed the maximum weight, and that they are not allergic to lidocaine or nickel. Patients who are not candidates for the procedure may be offered options including needle localization or short-term follow-up with breast exam and mammogram.
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